Fierce competition from wine and ready-to-drink brands might have dented beer’s armour but the category is still big business for retailers.

However, despite positive news that the market grew by 4.4% last year, tipping it over the £1.6bn mark in the multiples and co-ops [TNS 52 w/e April 27 2003], it is punching below its weight as the thorny issue of pricing continues to blight the market.

For more details see this week’s Focus on Beer in The Grocer - out Saturday.